Friday, August 6, 2010

Rock Ducks

On my days off here in Zion, I like to hike early mornings. One morning I decided to do a little off trail exploring, back by the Sand Bench Trail. I bring my water bottle, some chlorine for water treatment, sun screen, and hiking poles.

This trail is fairly difficult walking because the horses create a "trench" of fine sand. I wear long pants, not shorts because of the prickers and dirt that gets in the socks and shoes when wearing shorts. Even with this protection I still end up with cactus thorns in my lower legs, which must be removed as soon as possible.

Amazingly, while off trail, I found a series of rock ducks. These man made landmarks are handy and totally harmless to the planet. The smaller ones I add a rock to, and build a few more along the sketchiest stretches.

Now, actually, I didn't tell anyone where I was going this morning. So, if I would break a leg in this scramble, it might be awhile before anyone found me. I come prepared for this eventuality with the stuff I carry in my pack, and take my time in the loose rock and steep climbs.

As they say, what goes up must come down. Gravity sees to that.

But, what goes down, doesn't always get back up. The Grim Reaper never sleeps.

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